With the Royal Mail’s announcement in February last year that everyday bar-coded stamps featuring the Queens head would be scrapped from January 31st, many Brits were confused about whether they would be able to use their non-barcoded stamps after this date.

The answer is yes: the Royal Mail has announced a six-month grace period after the January 31st, where the post will be delivered as normal, even with ‘retired’ stamps, to allow people to adjust to the change.

Thus, the deadline to use these stamps is 31st July 2023.

After this date, any items that have a non-barcoded stamp on them will be treated as if there is insufficient postage, which means that these items will be subject to a surcharge.

People are unable to take their old or ‘retired’ stamps to the nearest post office and swap them for the newer versions. Instead, they need to fill out a form and send them back to Royal Mail.

To do this, follow this link: https://www.royalmail.com/sending/barcoded-stamps